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Return to work (2): who needs a new search engine? 25 Aug 2008

Posted by Tony Law in Tech Watch, Technorati.
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A Basex newsletter alerted me to Cuil, a new search engine which claims to index three times as much of the Web as Google and to do a better job of relevance.

Well, I’m not sure. I tested it on the query of the moment: a tool that IBM Research in Haifa are calling the Pensieve. If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, that won’t mean much; but suffice it to say that I expect any search for just Pensieve to throw up more Potter than IBM.

Cuil has no “Advanced Search” facility, at least not yet. So I searched for “IBM Pensieve” (in that order). Cuil does a nice job of displaying its first eight or ten results; it’s a nicely styled page and, at first sight, a lot easier to navigate than Google’s list. But that’s just a nice style sheet I guess. What matters most is results.

So: Cuil’s first two results were both references to the primary research on IBM’s research pages. It was unfortunate that both of them, when clicked, gave Error 404; IBM have presumably moved them since they were indexed. Cuil also found a reference to research at Purdue University which is part of the project. But the rest of the 8 results were irrelevant.

Google’s first page of results were all connected to the IBM project. But none of them were direct references to the primary research. The one ibm.com reference was to a video page spanning a range of topics. The rest were commentary from a range of sources.

But Google improved when I added “ibm.com” to the search terms and delivered the link you see below – better, in fact, than the one I found for myself by using the search on ibm.com. Cuil, at this point, returned no hits.

Watch this space, I guess. But I ain’t switching my default search engine just yet

PS – Pensieve uses the images, sounds, and text recorded on mobile devices to help people recall names, faces, conversations and other important information.

Links:
• Cuil
• Made in IBM Labs: IBM Research Develops Technology to Aid Human Memory, IBM Press Room, 29 Jul 2008 (with video)

The return to work: the user take on Forrester+Jupiter 25 Aug 2008

Posted by Tony Law in Insight services, Technorati.
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I’ve been away from the office for most of August, letting news build up, so I missed the acquisition of Jupiter by Forrester at the end of July. There’s plenty of comment out there from the market perspective – SageCircle’s is one of the best. But, as enterprises return to work, maybe I can help you catch up too!

For a start, this is something of a reversal of fortunes. A decade or so ago, prior to Forrester’s acquisition of Giga, Forrester were moving into coverage of the emerging world of online business. The enterprise I worked for closed down a contract with them because we judged they were falling between two stools. They didn’t have sufficient IT coverage (till Giga filled in the gaps). And consumer data was available from our marketing support services – such as Jupiter. So Forrester came some way second to Jupiter. Now, they’ve acquired them.

I’ve never been a Jupiter user, so I can’t comment from the Jupiter users’ perspective. But read David Schatsky, Jupiter’s President. His blog isn’t just the usual “gosh we’re excited” senior executive stuff. He talks about Jupiter’s “grudging admiration” for Forrester, their disagreements over past forecasts, and the recognised strengths of a competitor. So, when he does say he’s excited, you can believe it.

I’ve been a technology-side user of Forrester rather than a marketing-side user. But I know enough about the two firms to believe that this combination does make sense, and George Colony will make it work. Forrester’s integration of Giga, some years ago, was no doubt tough but Forrester adopted many of Giga’s working practices – the ones that the clients valued most. Expect the same approach.

So both Forrester and Jupiter clients will see some changes. Now’s the time to start the conversation with your sales executive, and let Forrester know which aspects of either offering you value.

If you’re a Forrester user on the technology side, it likely won’t make a great deal of difference. But on the market research side (Jupter will join Forrester’s Marketing & Strategy Client Group) George Colony clearly expects Jupter to deepen Forrester’s capability and add some new directions. If you’re a Jupiter user, and you need help understanding how Forrester work, get in touch!

I haven’t had chance to talk to Forrester yet; I’m back at work on a Bank holiday, so there’s nobody there in the UK office. Watch for an update posting when I have chance to do so!

Links:
Forrester Acquires JupiterResearch, Forrester Press Release, 31 Jul 2008
Forrester Buys Jupiter, blog, David Schatsky,31 Jul 2008
Forrester buying Jupiter – smart, but not a big deal, SageCircle, 3 Aug 2008
Forrester acquires JupiterResearch, Analyst Perspectives, 5 Aug 2008

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